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Fifty-five year old mother of six now a Brewton-Parker College graduate

Law school is next for Connell Stewart Jackson

Taylor Hereford
BPC Director of Marketing

Most people in their fifties would be looking back on all of the accomplishments made so far in life and would be eagerly anticipating retirement. After all, being retired brings the chance to travel, to join a morning coffee club at a local fast food restaurant, and the best thing of all – a chance to spoil the grandchildren.

Don’t expect any of that from Mrs. Connell Stewart Jackson anytime soon.

Mrs. Jackson received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology during Brewton-Parker College’s External Programs Commencement in Hinesville on May 13.

At fifty-five years of age, she also received the distinction of being the oldest member of the Class of 2006.

“If you put your heart and mind to it, you can do it,” said Mrs. Jackson proudly, a belief instilled in her at a young age by her mother, Mrs. Floria Mae Stewart.

Mrs. Connell Stewart Jackson (left) stands with her mother, Mrs. Floria Mae Stewart, following Brewton-Parker College's External Programs Commencement May 13 at the First Baptist Church of Hinesville. (Photo by Taylor Hereford)

As a child growing up in Jesup, Mrs. Jackson knew that all her mother expected was that her children do their very best and earn a good, quality education.

“To my mother, education has always been a top priority,” said Mrs. Jackson. “All she expected from us was that we do the best we could do. And if we failed at something, she told us we needed to pick ourselves up and try again.”

After graduating from Wayne County High School, Mrs. Jackson didn’t continue on in her pursuit of a college education. Instead, she began to concentrate on being a supportive wife to her husband Jerome as together they began to raise a family.

The couple has been blessed to have six children – five sons and one daughter – which is the most of any graduate in Brewton-Parker College’s Class of 2006. Jerome, Jr. is a real estate investor in New York. Josh is currently serving in Iraq as a member of the Army, while his brother Neil is in the Navy and stationed in Virginia. Latrina, the only daughter, is an archeologist, while Adam is currently a sophomore majoring in engineering at Georgia Southern. Christopher, the youngest child, is an honor student at Wayne County High School.

Mrs. Connell Stewart Jackson (center) is surrounded by her family following Brewton-Parker College's External Programs Commencement May 13 at the First Baptist Church of Hinesville. (Photo by Taylor Hereford)

While juggling the responsibilities of being a wife and a mother, Mrs. Jackson decided at one point she would attempt to make a career out of working in the restaurant business. There was a time in this new venture that Mrs. Jackson realized she would need the services of the legal profession. Ironically, working with attorneys would give her the inspiration she needed to go back to school.

“After my experience in the restaurant business, I realized I could make a positive difference in people’s lives by being an attorney,” said Mrs. Jackson. “It was at that point that I knew I wanted to get a college education.”

In 2002, Mrs. Jackson enrolled as a full-time student at Brewton-Parker’s Liberty Campus in Hinesville in pursuit of a Sociology degree. Four years later, with her mother watching proudly from a pew at the First Baptist Church of Hinesville, Mrs. Jackson walked across the stage and received her diploma.

Mrs. Jackson is now making plans to attend the John Marshall Law School in Atlanta in hopes of one day achieving her dream of being a practicing attorney. She hopes that as a result of her earning a college degree that her children who are still in school will see it as a motivating factor to finish school and earn their own degrees.

“I have always wanted to lead by example,” said Mrs. Jackson. “If I can go back to school and earn a college education, then my children can finish and get their degrees, too.”

Mrs. Jackson’s husband Jerome has also followed her lead. He is currently enrolled at Brewton-Parker College’s Liberty Campus as a sophomore majoring in Christianity. Like his wife, Jerome wants to use his future college degree to help others.

-BPC-

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The mission of Brewton-Parker College, a Georgia Baptist college, is to develop the whole student through the application of Biblically-centered truth to a liberal arts curriculum in a community of shared Christian values.
 
Brewton-Parker College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Brewton-Parker College.
 
Updated on: April 15, 2010 8:26 PM